Wellbeing is all about our physical and emotional health. When we feel that life is in balance and that we can generally cope well, this is a good level of wellbeing. We feel motivated and engaged. We are resilient which means we can deal effectively with daily troubles and bounce back from life’s challenges.
Good wellbeing also means we are likely to be more productive at work and able to think constructively, deal with problems and make meaningful connections with others. In 2017/18, 15.4 million working days were lost in British workplaces due to stress, depression or anxiety (ONS Labour Force Survey). This means employers that can work to reduce stress and improve employees’ wellbeing are likely to have a more productive, engaged workforce.
Understandably an organisation going through a redundancy process will have staff who feel unsettled and anxious about the changes. It’s important that employers and team leaders do what they can to support mental wellbeing at such a stressful time.
Here’s some areas for consideration.
Communicate openly and regularly. Uncertainty comes from a lack of information and the rumours circulating can quickly escalate.
Ensure managers have the models and knowledge to help them to support their staff throughout the redundancy process. If they need training, prioritise it.
Providing staff with mindfulness, relaxation and managing stress sessions can help everyone open up. Or you could offer workshops to help employees understand wellbeing and develop resilience. This will help normalise the process of talking about wellbeing.
Encourage self-care and healthy habits like getting exercise, sleep and fresh air (if possible), and practicing relaxation techniques like yoga and mindfulness.
Ask your teams what other support they would like to have access to.
You may find it useful to run a quick survey at various points, to gauge levels of anxiety and emotion among staff, so you can see whether the tools you have in place are helping in some way.
While people are working from home you will need to pay particular attention to the support they need to stay connected. People can be more sensitive if they’re feeling isolated or anxious, so think about this and communicate regularly.
Encourage managers to make time for social conversations. This increases rapport, reduces feelings of isolation and eases communication between people working from home. Listen closely and read between the lines. Working remotely means you won’t always be able to gauge body language or tone to sense what people are thinking or feeling.
Working to improve your employees’ wellbeing is good practice and will help develop a resilient workforce.
Are you an employer planning to reduce staff numbers through redundancy? Click here to find out about our Redundancy Support Package.
Wellbeing beyond redundancy
The advice suggested isn't only for redundancy situations - staff wellbeing should be a priority throughout your organisation. Positive wellbeing can encourage a more productive workforce and if people are happy at their place of work they are unlikely to look for employment elsewhere.
Take steps to understanding how your staff currently feel and what they would like to see implemented to improve their wellbeing at work. You may be surprised that it doesn't require much investment!
If you do identify that your staff are unhappy at work and their mental wellbeing is suffering as a result, talk to our team about how we could help.
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